The Washington Capitals certainly made a game of it on Wednesday, and it took the Rangers almost two hours to knock off the plucky No. 7 seeds in Game 3. But a game winning goal by Marion Gaborik ended a long night of hockey just over 14 minutes into the third extra frame. Our Capitals blog Japers' Rink is ready to blame that goal on just pure exhaustion.
14:41 into triple overtime Marian Gaborik took a Brad Richards feed from prime real estate and put it through Holtby's five-hole. The game-ending moment was the culmination of a lot of puck-chasing and poor positioning by Capitals defenders, likely equal parts physical and mental fatigue. The puck could have ended up in either net at the end of the night tonight (this morning?), but it came to rest behind Braden Holtby. After 114 minutes and 41 seconds of hockey, that was that.
After that much hockey, it just came down to which team was going to play the best fundamental hockey the longest, and the Capitals defense just broke down a little bit. It would have been nice if Ovechkin could have ended things in the first overtime, but his shot went begging off the post.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates throughout the Capitals and Rangers Eastern Conference semifinal series. For more news and analysis on the Caps, visit Japers' Rink. For the opponent's perspective during the series, visit Blueshirt Banter. And for all your news on the NHL Playoffs, check out SB Nation's NHL hub.